Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Don't drive me if you're blind, please!

There are some things that make me really furious!
How would you like to be driven by a blind taxi driver? I wouldn't, even if he was Al Pacino in a Ferrari.
Operated by a surgeon who got his degree simply for watching ER or Grey's Anatomy?
Then why you think that you can be a journalist if you can't spell? Or copywriter?
I am sick of walking around billboards with spelling mistakes, reading the news in leading media with spelling mistakes... If you think that this skill is not required for the job that you do, probably no skill is required (imagination and fresh thinking is something babies are born with, so obviously since that time you haven't learn anything new!)
No, you won't kill me by misssspelling... Maybe the TV surgeon would not kill me either, nor blind Pacino. It is obvious that I can't respect a word of what you write if you did not respect me enough to write it correctly. I just think that you are illiterate.
But you and your ignorance are also teaching my kids that being good at what you do is not important.
Please, keep your mistakes private!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Out-of-crisis marketing strategies

It has been quite popular lately to speak about the end of the crisis and obviously everyone is looking forward to the return of good old times when we did not have to be stingy, live with strict budget limitations and work just to stay on the market.
If you are one of the companies that managed somehow through the hardest times and now you see a light at the end of the tunnel (and it not coming from the train that will run you down) then you are probably looking into lessons on how to recover faster.
1. Don’t return to old habits
Consider the crisis as cancer. It did spread out as fast and unnoticed just as cancer. It can come back. It is genetically coded in the economy. It affected many parts and can just come back through another channel – your main supplier may fail, your contractor, employees or else. So you might better avoid 5 star hotels for your employees on a business trip – the 4 and 3 star hotels that you used during the crisis were quite fine; don’t rush into getting the large TV budget of 2-3 years ago (do you really need right now?) and don’t raise the prices of your products just because you have received many orders for them. Returning to smoking after a successful lungs surgery would be as smart as those…
2. Evaluate the good practices
There were some good things in scarce budgets… Maybe it turned out that you don’t need so many people – like managers of the supervisors, or the 2nd HR, or the full-time cleaning lady? Think of all the pluses that you can find in the practice of cutting down the costs. Maybe you don’t need to get back to that expensive but reaaaally good supplier that you used before – maybe you can just help the lower budget one that you use now grow and learn from you and thus keeping the good relations and still having the lower price?
3. Don’t be stingy
Hopefully you haven’t been stingy but really cost-effective till now. If it is not the case and even if it was, don’t be stingy now, when you see the other end of the tunnel. Be reasonable and use the motivation of those who survived the crisis with you and your company. Reward, but wisely. As I said, it is like cancer. You have to keep from not smoking (not returning the salaries and budgets to old times) but use their knowledge and loyalty for promotion or well-reasoned bonuses. Pure stinginess just leaves such a bad taste in the mouth...
4. Look for open doors
Maybe the times of survival opened some doors. I know many businesses that have had this experience. If you have spare resource – go on and see whether the door fits your office. As in cancer – alternative cures might help your recuperation and small things can improve the quality of life. If you can afford it – be aggressive! But don’t assume that your stamina or the few days of well-being will take you out of the tunnel. If you can afford it just now and tomorrow, do the reforms that you did not have the possibility or funds to do before – the reforms that you wanted and needed but they would have cost you too much.
5. Pioneer
Lower costs good quality suppliers, opened doors, good practices and your experience… A smart manager is a smart manager when he/she believes in him/herself. Trust your instincts and look for data. Don’t fall for advises on marketing expansion from people who have never been in your shoes. You and only you should know best on how to approach a certain case. Look for data to show you good practices and tendencies that you have omitted. Open doors and a good reason behind it – what else do you need to get better after a tumor? A miracle? Don’t count on it. As a good friend says – hope is not a strategy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Addicted to unnoticed help

Have you noticed how used we get to household gadgets? Some quite usual machinery becomes unnoticed in everyday routine…
My dishwasher broke yesterday. So we had to eat last night in funny dishes and today it took me more than 30 mins to take them all out and wash them by hand. Besides, I had the problem with the free space where to dry them… My kitchen is not made for hand washing the dishes.
And what if the washing machine brakes down? It will take an hour to handwash them, then half dry them… Again, besides the time I will have the problems with other resource – where to put the clothes, how to dose the softener, etc. And do the nails after that.
And if the kettle brakes down? Using funny vessels to warm the water…
People get used to the facilitations provided by smaller and bigger domestic appliances and appreciate their help only when they brake down.
Like in the office – if the receptionist gets sick suddenly the whole office notices what she does.
Or, when the news section of your website does not work you have the most important news to post…